Want to get more website traffic without breaking the bank?
Of course you do!
If you’re like many other business owners, you may be enthusiastic about your company, but unsure of how to go about getting more traffic to your website.
Traffic is one of the most important aspects of running a website.
Without it, what’s the point?
In this post, you’re going to learn ten of the top, budget-friendly ways to increase website traffic.
1. Up Your Social Media Game
If you’ve spent any amount of time on the internet, you’ve undoubtedly noticed social media plays a pivotal role when it comes to marketing. Big businesses are doing it. Small businesses are doing it. Entrepreneurs are doing it.
Everyone’s doing it, which means it’s time for you to take advantage of the audience reach that comes from social media. By using channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and other major social networking sites, you will be able to engage and interact with your customers, and share your latest content with them.
How to Promote Website Content on Social Media
- Make it easy to follow your company. The first thing you need to do is make sure there are follow buttons visible somewhere on your site, since this will make it easier for your customers to follow you on your social media pages. This is also a great way to keep in touch with your previous customers, and see what their interests and consumer behavior is like.
- Post consistently. Be sure to post consistently and often. Enhance the impact of your posts by adding high-quality images and personalized messages.
- Ask for shares. If your customers find your content useful, ask them to share it.
- Add sharing buttons to make this process even easier. Not only will it cut down on the amount of clicks someone has to make, but it also encourages your readers to take action. ShareThis is a great company with tools that make it simpler than ever to share content across multiple platforms.
Assuming your content is relevant and value-driven for your customers and readers, promoting it across your social media channels will start a chain reaction. One customer will share it, and then it will be shared from there. This will continue, and your post will expand its audience reach as it is shared across multiple platforms and by multiple users.
Follow the One-in-Seven Rule
This rule may sound old and cliché, but it definitely holds true for most businesses and companies. This rule states only one of every seven posts should be promotional in nature. The remaining six posts should be focused on sharing value-driven content, and should include posts from others within your industry niche.
Get Your Customers’ Opinions
The majority of people enjoy talking about themselves, whether they are willing to admit to that or not. You can use this little fact to your advantage by asking your social media followers to voice their opinions on topics that relate to your business. For example, a clothing store may ask fans to vote on their favorite summer trends in order to be entered into a drawing to win a $50 giftcard. The questions should be engaging and interesting to your followers, and should get them talking about your business. Additionally, asking questions related to your business niche (such as summer fashion trends) will give you insight into the buying habits and preferences of your customers. You can then use this information to adjust your inventory and increase sales.
Trivia questions work in the same way as asking for opinions, and they highlight your company’s authority within your industry niche. Post an obscure, fun fact in the form of a trivia question with a special discount or offer to be available to the first person who correctly answers the question. People love competition, and this is a fun way to engage your customers.
Say “No” to Syndicated Status Updates
There are several tools available that make it possible to write one message, one time, have it post on all of your social media platforms. While this may sound convenient, you risk losing the personalization and sincerity of your brand. This means you risk losing the respect, interest, and possibly even trust of your customers. Instead, vary your language when you promote on different sites. Your audiences will be different from platform to platform, and your content should reflect that.
2. Respond to Comments
Many companies seem to forget the importance of engaging with their customers and website readers. As a result, most of them will not pay much attention to your website content, especially when it comes to blog posts and social media updates.
If you want to build loyalty, increase engagement, make your brand more of an authority, and increase website traffic, it’s important to reply to the comments of customers and readers on your posts. It’s especially important to reply to those who bring up interesting points, write something longer than just, “Nice post”, or those who ask questions about your business, services, or content.
3: Create a Blog
There probably aren’t all that many pages on your website. Right?
You probably don’t update them all that often. Right?
This is why it’s important that your website has a (regularly updated) blog. Each time a blog post is published to your site, you gain another indexed page, which means you gain another opportunity for your business to show up in search engines – which means increased website traffic from organic search. We’ll touch on SEO in the next section of this post, but having an active blog tells the search engines they need to crawl your site to see what new content is available.
Blogging also helps with the social media promotion we just covered in the first section of this post. Each time you publish a blog post, you are creating content that people will be able to share on their own various social media platforms. This means your business gains more exposure, reaches a wider audience, and will have increased website traffic.
The key to using a blog that drives new traffic to your website is regularly updated, value-driven content that was written by a professional writer. Stick to a blogging schedule, and push content that will be relevant and engaging to your customers. This will turn them into regular readers, give your site traffic a boost, and even increase sales. In fact, SproutContent recently cited a HubSpot survey that stated 60% of businesses that have blogs bring in more customers than businesses without blogs.
Creating regular content – and responding to the comments your readers leave on these posts – lets people see the more ‘human side’ of your business. This creates a personal connection between your business and your customers, which makes your brand more relatable and relevant.
4. Learn SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of optimizing your website content to better rank in search engines.
The vast majority of the people who surf the internet use search engines to find what they are looking for, such as the closest computer repair business to their home. This is why it’s essential to make your website SEO-friendly.
The Basics of SEO
- Use keywords, but don’t stuff your content with them. Keywords are one of the most important aspects of SEO. When people look for something, they will type those keywords into the search engine they are using. Be careful to not stuff your content with keywords, though, or Google will flag your site as being ‘spammy’. The keywords should fit naturally within your content, and the language should flow naturally.
- Use relevant keywords. What is your website content focusing on? Who is your target audience? What is their demographic? What are their consumer behaviors? Knowing the answers to these questions will put yourself in their shoes, so you know what they will be searching for. You can adjust your content accordingly by adding those relevant keywords. If you need a bit of help, try using a keyword tool like Google Keyword Planner or Longtail Pro.
- Update your content regularly. This is where the blogging comes in, you see. Websites that post fresh content regularly often rank higher in search engines compared to websites that don’t.
- Earn quality links. Your site is really only one part of the equation. If your website URL is found on other credible websites, then search engines will consider you to be an authoritative site. This means your website gets bumped up in the search results. How do you get those links? Provide great content, offer deals and freebies, and ask for a link back when people use your content.
The basics provided here may not be enough to get you on the first or second page of a Google search engine, but they are certainly a start. It’s important to hire someone who specializes in SEO, or to research it on your own.
5. Have a Quality Website
You don’t need to spend a fortune, but you do want to ensure your website looks and feels professional. The website should reflect your brand, and convey the tone and message you wish to get across to your customers. Additionally, ad networks like AdSense will pay more to advertise on a self-hosted, quality website.
It’s important to have an appealing website, even if your budget isn’t quiet big enough (yet) for you to have a professional design it. There are numerous affordable websites out there with great templates you can choose from, and then customize them. Squarespace and WordPress are some of the most popular options, and both of them have a whole list of benefits to them.
It’s not just enough to have an aesthetically-pleasing website, though. From highly visible contact information to glowing testimonials from previous customers/clients, there are some things all business websites need to have:
- A thorough ‘About’ page. If someone finds your business online, it shouldn’t take them long to figure out what you do. It should be obvious from the very first page they land on, and your ‘About’ page should be able to give them more information.
- A simple, memorable domain. Your domain name reflects your brand. It should be easy to type into the address bar or into an e-mail address. It should relate to your business, and be appropriate for the audience you are trying to market to.
- A user-friendly site map. Clear, easy-to-navigate links are important for websites. A site map is necessary for guiding site visitors to the information they came there to find. If your site is too hard to navigate, or requires too much effort, people aren’t going to stick around very long.
- Easy-to-find contact information. It shouldn’t take your website visitors very long to figure out how to get in touch with you. It’s best to place the contact information in the top left or top right corner of the home page. Including the information on every page of the website down in the footer, or even in the side bar, is also a great practice that will make it easier for your visitors to find the information they are looking for.
BONUS: Use Youtube
YouTube has so many benefits for businesses that want to increase their website traffic on a budget! Through this social media platform, business owners can:
Demonstrate Products and Services
YouTube makes it possible for businesses to show off their products and services, and portray them being actively used by people that fit the target demographic. This is especially helpful for companies with little room for physical distribution channels, including those who rely heavily on E-Commerce. By using YouTube, businesses allow customers to see the product in action before they spend their money on it. This adds a sense of trust and authority that your customers will appreciate and remember.
Creating tutorials will build your reputation as an expert within your industry niche. You can also build community and network with others by linking to other experts’ videos or mentioning them in your videos.
You can embed these videos within your website without increasing the site’s bandwidth. In other words, you can demonstrate your product, offer great content, and showcase your services – all without the risk of slowing down the download speeds of your customers.
Address Customer Questions
Videos are excellent ways to address frequently answered questions, or to help solve the challenges your customers are currently having. By doing this, you are will be on top of any problems before they escalate into your product being heavily criticized and receiving lots of negative reviews.
As a business owner to aims to find budget-friendly ways to increase your website traffic, it’s important to keep the above tips and advice in mind. There are a lot of things necessary to get those website views, but the above tips are a great starting point. Just stay committed, and don’t forget to publish new, value-driven content regularly!
What are some of the best ways you’ve found to be most helpful in increasing your website traffic? Were you able to implement them while sticking to your budget? Let us know in the comments below!